Willett Children’s Hospital Sickle Cell Program Awarded $30,000

(March 14, 2017) – The Charles A. Frueauff Foundation awarded $30,000 to the sickle cell program at the Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah at Memorial Health. The grant will fund a dedicated nurse educator, outreach and community education, and a summer camp experience for children living with this chronic illness.

“When I approached Memorial Health Foundation and asked about a need that was underfunded in the children’s hospital, they connected me with Dr. John Whittle, and the results of our collaboration have been very fulfilling. We are receiving a wonderful return from our investment, now totaling $75,000, in the sickle cell program,” said Jim Fallon, trustee and CIO of the Arkansas-based foundation.

“Sickle cell causes chronic pain, kidney complications, and hospitalizations that lead to multiple emergency room visits and school absences. This funding provides us with a nurse who can reach out to schools and spend time with parents. For example, she can explain that young people with sickle cell may need to drink water in class or be excused to take medicine. This grant truly makes a difference,” said John Whittle, M.D., a pediatric hematologist-oncologist at Willett Children’s Hospital.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder primarily affecting African-American children born to parents who both carry the sickle cell trait. Camp New Hope is a summer camp for children with the disease. A portion of the Frueauff Foundation funding will help send local children to the camp.

“As a parent, I can honestly say I never worry about Sydnei [my daughter] when she’s at camp. I know the staff is knowledgeable and compassionate. Any assistance that can be given to Camp New Hope and to the sickle cell patients will be greatly appreciated,” said Tracy Richardson, whose daughter attended Camp New Hope for 12 years.

Memorial University Medical Center is a two-state healthcare organization serving a 35-county area in southeast Georgia and southern South Carolina. The system includes its flagship hospital, a 604-bed academic medical center; Memorial primary and specialty care physician networks; a major medical education program; business and industry services; and NurseOne, a 24-hour call center. You can follow us at facebook.com/memorialhealth, twitter.com/mymemorial, instagram.com/memorial_health, and youtube.com/memorialhealth.